Safe Routes to School is an international program that encourages walking and biking to school. Safe Routes to School was first used in Denmark in the late 1970s as part of a very successful initiative to reduce the number of pedestrian deaths while children walked and biked to school. Safe Routes to School has since spread to other countries including the United States.
The Safe Routes to School program focuses on teaching children biking and walking safety along with healthy lifestyles. It encourages children to walk and bike to school but also looks to reduce traffic congestion around schools, increase the physical activity of students, and increase community involvement. A Safe Routes to School Program has the potential to improve the walking and bicycling conditions near a school as well as enhance student’s health and well-being.
Links for More Information:
- National Center for Safe Routes to School
- Walk/Bike to School
- G.D. Jones Safe Routes to School Map (.pdf, 600 KB)
The Walking School Bus
What is a Walking School Bus?
- A group of children walking to school with an adult “Driver.”
- A “Driver” is an adult supervisor that leads the walking school bus and helps children learn about road safety.
How Does a Walking School Bus Work?
- A route, map, and schedule is developed.
- The “Driver” will walk the route to school, picking up children who walk from their homes to meet the walking school bus on the designated route.
Why Does This Matter?
- It is safer for kids to walk to school together.
- Walking to school regularly improves health and fitness.
- Fewer families driving their children to school means less traffic congestion and air pollution around schools.
- The Walking School Bus is a great social opportunity for kids (and adults).
- Walking to school regularly teaches life-long healthy habits.
How Can You Be Involved?
- You could lead! If you are interested in helping to make this Walking School Bus a success, you could sign-up to be a “driver.”
- Obey school zone speed limits and other traffic signs.
- Watch for children when backing out of driveways or turning. Remember, just because you can see the child does not mean they can see you!
- If you see something unusual, say something!
- Display a ‘Slow Down, Watch For Kids’ sign to remind others in you neighborhood to watch for children.
- Talk with your neighbors to make sure they know about Walking School Bus.
Walking School Bus Safety for Kids
- Remember the “Three Golden Rules”:
- Walk (don’t run)
- Stay on the sidewalk
- Walk sensibly (no “horsing around”)
- Stay on the sidewalks
- Always cross at the safest places such as street corners and/or painted crosswalks.
- Look left, right, behind and in front while crossing the street.
- Be aware of traffic sights and sounds.
- Walk facing traffic so you can see drivers.
- Watch for parked cars that might move unexpectedly.
- Wear bright colors.
- Walk together as a group.
- Stay safe and keep in mind, it’s hard for big vehicles to see you!
If you would like to get involved or if you have questions please contact us: